July 8, 2016
It has been theoretically demonstrated and seen in general practice that a monetary system of 100% metallic money devoid of central banking checks monetary inflation, prevents a general rise in the price level, and eliminates the dreaded business cycle while making all sorts of monetary mischief nearly impossible. A gold standard is not only economically superior to any paper money scheme, but is morally just, which is why it is hated by the politically well-connected, academics, politicians, and the rest of the Establishment.
Often not discussed, however, even by its proponents is the beneficial effect that “hard money” has for the middle class.
It is not a coincidence that since the U.S. left the last vestiges of the gold standard in 1971 with President Nixon’s nefarious decision to no longer redeem international central bank payments in gold, real wages for Americans have stagnated. Nixon’s decision to put the nation on an irredeemable paper money standard set it on a course of economic ruination, which is why he should have been hounded from office not for his role in the bungled, petty cover up at the Watergate.
Stagnating wage rates have been confirmed by a number of studies, take, for instance one from the Pew Research Center which states that “today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power as it did in 1979. . . . [I]n real terms the average wage peaked more than 40 years ago: The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 has the same purchasing power as $22.41 would today.”*
While the absence of the gold standard has impoverished laborers, it has benefitted (not surprisingly) the very wealthy – hence, the reason why it was abandoned, as the Pew Study reports: “What gains have been made, have gone to the upper income brackets. Since 2000, usual weekly wages have fallen 3.7% (in real terms) among workers in the lowest tenth of the earnings distribution, and 3% among the lowest quarter. But among people near the top of the distribution, real wages have risen 9.7%.”**